5 Biggest Questions Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker Vs. Andrade II
ONE Championship has an amazing lineup in store for its next Prime Video broadcast live in U.S. primetime this Friday, February 24.
ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II is stacked from top to bottom with intriguing matchups that will have huge implications for their divisions – from crowning World Champions to establishing fresh contenders and more.
With just days until fight night, here are five of the biggest questions that will be answered when the action gets underway at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
#1 Can Fabricio Andrade Finish What He Started?
Fabricio Andrade lived up to his words when he challenged for the ONE Bantamweight World Title at ONE on Prime Video 3 last October. The belt was vacant after John Lineker missed weight, but “Wonder Boy” went after his opponent like he had to pry it from his grasp.
Although Lineker had his moments, Andrade was definitely in control and looked seconds away from a finish before an inadvertent low blow meant the bout ended in a no contest.
In his post-fight interview, the 25-year-old Brazilian phenom said that his compatriot took the easy way out, and he’ll feel even more confident when they rematch for the still-vacant gold this Friday.
However, if “Wonder Boy” doesn’t give the division’s former titleholder enough respect, there’s every chance he could leave himself open to the dangerous “Hands of Stone.”
Regardless of how things played out last time, both men have the ability to finish in devastating fashion. Will Andrade carry forward his momentum, stay undefeated in ONE, and finally become the bantamweight MMA king?
#2 Will Jamal Yusupov Overcome The Odds Again?
Jamal Yusupov has been hunting for a ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title shot since 2019, and it’s finally right around the corner.
The #2-ranked contender shocked the world by taking out Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in his ONE debut, before defeating Samy Sana and Jo Nattawut to establish himself as a true threat to the top order.
There’s no doubt he can rise to the occasion against elite rivals, but newly crowned divisional king Tawanchai PK.Saenchai has looked dominant in the organization.
The slick Thai striker will enter as the favorite, but there isn’t much room for error when Yusupov starts throwing his powerful fists around – and those could be the great equalizer.
Can Tawanchai reign supreme in his first World Title defense, or will the Russian-Turkish heavy hitter pull off another upset?
#3 Can Martin Nguyen Make One More Run To The Top?
Former two-division MMA king Martin Nguyen knows he must emerge victorious this Friday if he wants to remain in the ONE Featherweight World Title picture.
The longtime superstar has come up short in three of his last four battles, so he’ll need to prove that he’s still a legitimate threat and protect his #4 contender spot in the process.
However, the 33-year-old Vietnamese-Australian will butt heads with undefeated newcomer Razhab Shaydullaev, who boasts a perfect 8-0 slate in his professional career.
Shaydullaev is stepping in on late notice to replace #5-ranked Shamil Gasanov, who withdrew from the contest due to health reasons. But the Kyrgyz phenom is certainly dangerous, with a 100 percent finishing rate that features four knockouts and four submissions.
It’s a massive opportunity for the 22-year-old debutant, although Nguyen appears reinvigorated after returning to Kill Cliff FC in Florida, USA, for his training camp.
These two athletes are at very different points in their respective careers, which begs the question – can “The Situ-Asian” overcome Shaydullaev and show that he’s not going away quietly?
#4 Can Eko Roni Saputra Finally Crash The Flyweight Rankings?
With a ridiculous streak of seven first-round victories, Eko Roni Saputra has been calling for a step up in competition, and he’s getting just that in former ONE Flyweight MMA World Title challenger Danny Kingad.
While his previous wins were impressive – with everything from inventive submissions to KOs – this will certainly be Saputra’s most difficult test yet.
The Indonesian rising star is building solid striking and submission games alongside his world-class wrestling base, and he’s adamant that he can match “The King” in any area when they face off in Bangkok.
However, #3-ranked Kingad has consistently squared off against the best of the best, with every other top-five flyweight contender on his resume.
If Saputra can earn his eighth straight dominant win, there won’t be any denying his place among the division’s elite.
#5 Can Tommy Langaker Earn A Shot At Grappling Gold?
The ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title is currently in the hands of Kade Ruotolo, but Tommy Langaker wants to earn his way toward a shot at the American’s strap.
Already established as the top submission grappler in Europe, the Norwegian BJJ star earned a massive win over Renato Canuto in his ONE debut – although he’s facing a different type of challenge this time.
Langaker will take on four-time Sambo World Champion and former ONE World Title challenger Uali Kurzhev, and if he can rack up another impressive victory, he’ll make a strong case to challenge for the throne.
However, Kurzhev will want to showcase more of his game after getting dominated by Ruotolo in his ONE debut, so there’s a good chance he’ll come out aggressively.
Will Langaker’s experience under the submission grappling rule set give him the edge, or will Kurzhev gain some redemption to pave his own path back toward the belt?